WAR puts all of its chips on the “epic” square of the roulette table. Since before release, we’ve heard about the grandness of war; the exhilaration of taking part in a massive battle. Many envisioned mini-armies clashing on the war fields, attackers and the destined, and imagined that feeling of awe that’s attributed to a new and incredible gaming experience. 


So far these types of clashes have been great, forgiving the rampant performance and stability issues, of course. Even some of the harsher critics have commented that good RvR is downright fun. Recently enough, they’ve even announced a fix to the performance problems, which, ironically, is the cause of a very contentious outcry.


The solution is to cap the amount of players allowed into the siege based on their level. Immediately, players went to the forums expressing their concern over these scaled back encounters. Disregarding some key as-yet-unknown factors, outraged players announced proclamations of “epic fail” and other such dictums.


Now, other bloggers have commented on the “unknowns” here. The two that stand out to me are:


  • What are the thresholds and total player caps?
  • If you die, is your spot reserved or could you be locked out when you return?


Let’s address the latter first. If your spot is reserved, then you’re able to return to the fight. You have your chance at loot. More importantly, you have your chance at revenge. If they opt for a revolving door policy, when you’re dead you’re probably going to have to wait in line to get back into the action. To me, that’s just begging for player outrage. Which is why I don’t think they’ll do it.


And the former? I would guess that the thresholds will be as high as they possibly could be without impacting the servers.  I don’t know a specific figure, but even so, I’d wager that it’s a lot of people. Enough to fill a fortress anyways. The problem arises in the inability for battles to be bigger.


Let me pose a question though, are battles able to be that big now? If server crashes and choppy performance have been prevalent enough for this change to be implemented, the answer is no. I’m sure Mythic would love for 600 person battles to happen all the time. Right now though, they’re opting to scale back battles to make them big by normal MMO standards instead of, how shall we say… fricking enormous.


And the scaling back doesn’t necessarily translate to less epic either. There will be a lot of people either way and, as I contemplated in my raiding article, that “epic” feeling is caused first by what happens and second by how many people there are. In RvR lots of people definitely lends to that grandiosity but it’s not the end all be all. The battle itself will be the determinant.


Unfortunately, a lot of players judge games based on perception rather than practice. Sure, player caps sound limiting and since epicness tends to equate to scale (again, solely by subjective perception), the main focus of the game is less epic, right?


It’s a trap we all fall into; part of a pack mentality that’s pervaded human interaction forever. I’ve done it and posted about it, so color me guilty. I can say this though anything I’m able to try, anything I’m able to experience, I’ll gladly do it and draw conclusions from my own experience rather than those of others – at least for gaming. Breaking from the pack means time, judgment, and the possible realization that we may be in the minority. It could also mean having to explain your feelings to others who may disagree. In the end though, we come out stronger and more knowledgeable about ourselves.


I haven’t gone through a new siege. My perceptions are as subjective as anyone else’s except that you’ll find no judgment here. When you visit the forums, keep subjectivity in mind. Keep that notion of balanced perception and practice at the forefront. It’s a good practice not only when judging a new game system but also for most other areas of consideration in life. In the battle between perception and practice, when the two are so heavily dependent on one another, we should all keep our own individuality in mind.


Sometimes, the loudest voices are also the least representative.